Dutch Baby Pancake
I have no idea why something so good is so easy, but I'm not complaining.
Yesterday we made a few delicious recipes to take over to our friends with a new baby, and this was one of them. I’ve been wanting to dabble in the more rustic side of bread for a long time. I just haven’t, basically because many recipes take multiple many-hour proof sessions that I rarely plan ahead enough for.
For this recipe, you still need to start planning way ahead of time. But the hands-on time is very minimal. Start this recipe at least four hours before you want to eat.
This recipe is straight out of my Mark Bittman cookbook, “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.” Here’s what you need:
The ease of this is just beautiful, however, I do have one adjustment to the way Bittman does bread. One of his biggest MOs is simplicity, and he doesn’t do a lot of baking recipes. I’ve never seen a bread recipe from him that uses warm water specifically, and I think that is absolutely essential to making a decent loaf of bread. And not just “warm.” 110 degrees. There is no rule of thumb that compares to a thermometer in this case.
So, begin by putting all of your dry ingredients in the food processor, and pulse it a couple of times just to mix it up. Then, turn the mixer on low and slowly pour in your 1 cup of water at 110 degrees. When there is enough water in the dough, it will combine into a ball. This doesn’t take very long – maybe a minute or less. You are looking for a smooth, simple dough. If it’s sticky, it’s too moist.
One thing I do love about Bittman is that he knows that there’s wiggle room in all recipes. So – if your dough’s too moist, add a tiny bit of flour until it’s right. If it’s too dry, add a little water.
Move the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the warmest spot in the house and let it rise for 2 hours.
Take the dough out onto a floured surface afterwards, and form into a long loaf (or several little loaves). Bake at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 210 degrees. This took the better part of an hour for me, but I foolishly did not get the exact time.
This bread recipe was delicious, but I think it could benefit from being a teensy bit less dense. I might go with a full two teaspoons of yeast next time. And, I think I’d mix the yeast in with the warm water, give it ten